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Providing Student E-Mail Getting You Down? Outsource It! Cynthia M. Hadden, Deputy CIO Executive Director, University Information Systems & Brian D. Voss,

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Presentation on theme: "Providing Student E-Mail Getting You Down? Outsource It! Cynthia M. Hadden, Deputy CIO Executive Director, University Information Systems & Brian D. Voss,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Providing Student Getting You Down? Outsource It! Cynthia M. Hadden, Deputy CIO Executive Director, University Information Systems & Brian D. Voss, Chief Information Officer Information Technology Services Louisiana State University "Copyright [Cynthia Hadden & Brian Voss] [2006]. This work is the intellectual property of the authors. Permission is granted for this material to be shared for non- commercial, educational purposes, provided that this copyright statement appears on the reproduced materials and notice is given that the copying is by permission of the author. To disseminate otherwise or to republish requires written permission from the author."

2 Providing Student Getting You Down? Outsource It! 1. Introduction  From the perspective of experience 2. In the beginning (1997)  The PAWS Connection 3. Six years later (2003)  The weight of the world or, at least, an system 4. Change in the air (2003/2004)  Let’s outsource it! 5. Success (2005/present)  But, will they like it?  A new CIO (and, he knows !)  New initiatives (1G mail boxes/Tigerware/Webhosting)

3 From the perspective of Experience “Bo knows ” Institutional hosting – a historical perspective Institutional hosting – a historical perspective  $10-$12 and more per head not uncommon  Centrally Served Applications (like Pine, Elm, VaxMail)  The need for Web interfaces  Anti-Spam, Anti-Virus – a new layer of cost  More!!!! Quota heartburn and file attachment size limits

4 Strategic aspects Where hosted? Where hosted? – Outsource vs. Self-provided Mobility Enablement? Mobility Enablement? – Market options vs. Specific Access? Access? – Via institutional portal and direct access Client Support? Client Support? – Broad options and specific choices Service Drivers? Service Influencers? Service Drivers? Service Influencers? – Market, Cost, Reliability, Integrity, Control

5 Considerations Cost of providing ‘individual’ is more than market value Cost of providing ‘individual’ is more than market value – Free providers like Google and Microsoft and Yahoo; now the first two even want your University business Risks associated with not providing an ‘institutional’ option are high Risks associated with not providing an ‘institutional’ option are high – Do you really want to tell your Chancellor/President that you’re sorry their is out, but you have a call into Google Why not choose both? Why not choose both? – Fracture the traditional faculty/staff vs. student paradigm – Institutional and Individual service offerings

6 Service Strategies Outsource-hosted architecture Outsource-hosted architecture – Student, Faculty, and Staff users Mobility enablement Mobility enablement – General focus on market options Portal and Direct Access Portal and Direct Access Support many client interfaces Support many client interfaces – IMAP, POP, Web Cost and Market Driven Cost and Market Driven – Reliability, Integrity, and Control influenced Institution-hosted architecture Institution-hosted architecture – Faculty & Staff users Mobility enablement Mobility enablement – Institutional specific option support Portal and Direct Access Portal and Direct Access Support maximum client interfaces Support maximum client interfaces – Desktop app, IMAP, POP, Web Reliability, Integrity, and Control Driven Reliability, Integrity, and Control Driven – Cost and Market influenced IndividualInstitutional

7 Providing Student Getting You Down? Outsource It! 1. Introduction  From the perspective of experience 2. In the beginning (1997)  The PAWS Connection

8 The PAWS Connection

9 Providing Student Getting You Down? Outsource It! 1. Introduction  From the perspective of experience 2. In the beginning (1997)  The PAWS Connection 3. Six years later (2003)  The weight of the world or, at least, an system

10 The weight of the world or, at least an obsolete mail system,... In 2003, at 6 years old, the student solution had become obsolete. In 2003, at 6 years old, the student solution had become obsolete. Hardware/software maintenance costs were high Hardware/software maintenance costs were high Cost to upgrade infrastructure ($300K) was high Cost to upgrade infrastructure ($300K) was high support personnel were few (and still are) support personnel were few (and still are)

11 We were not the only ones to notice... The SG Information Technology Officer sent an to our office asking that we upgrade the student system to “greatly aid students who use PAWS as their primary client.” The SG Information Technology Officer sent an to our office asking that we upgrade the student system to “greatly aid students who use PAWS as their primary client.” Students requested improved functionality including multiple attachments, a signature block, a personal address book & group calendaring. Students requested improved functionality including multiple attachments, a signature block, a personal address book & group calendaring. “When I am forced to use the PAWS (e.g. when accessing via the web from remote locations), I am amazed that such a frustrating, horrible, primitive, user-unfriendly e- mail system hasn't been replaced or at least significantly improved by now.... “ “When I am forced to use the PAWS (e.g. when accessing via the web from remote locations), I am amazed that such a frustrating, horrible, primitive, user-unfriendly e- mail system hasn't been replaced or at least significantly improved by now.... “

12 We considered several options... Staying the course Staying the course – Cost prohibitive; Would not meet student requirements Deploying another solution locally Deploying another solution locally – Not a cost-effective use of limited resources; Would have e- mail experts spending time on “running to stay in place” activities rather than pushing the envelope in other areas. Outsourcing Outsourcing – The list price of web mail services indicated that solutions were available for less than $10/box/year - but we would have to be careful to maintain or improve service levels.

13 We worked with SG to further refine user requirements... – Attachments, Signatures, Spell Check, Rich Text – Out-of-Office Replies, Reply to All – Filtering, Flagging and Forwarding – White lists, Block lists, Automatic Junk Mail Deletion Address Book Address Book – Nicknames, One click entry Calendar Calendar – Individual, Group, Enterprise

14 We defined technical requirements... Company Company – Hosts as primary business – Manages 100,000’s of accounts – Operated for two years or more Infrastructure Infrastructure – Web-based Customization & Admin – Portal Integration Capabilities – Backup and Recovery

15 Vendor : 12345**7*7 Requirements Multiple AttachmentsYYYYYYY Multiple SignaturesYNYNNNN Spell checkYYNNNYY Rich text editingYYNYYYY Out-of-office auto-replyYNNYNYY Reply to allYYYYYYY Incoming mail filteringYNNNNYY Priority mail flaggingYNNNNNY Advanced forwardingYNNNN?? Anti-spam (block, white lists,..)YYYYYYY User-friendly address bookYYYYYYY Web-based administrationYYYYYY? > 5 million mail boxes hostedY?YY??Y Supports POP3YYY Supports IMAPYNN We conducted an initial survey..

16 Vendor: 12345**7*7 Calendar Requirements Individual calendarYNNYYNY Group calendarYNNNN?* Enterprise calendarYNNNN?? Portal Requirements Customizable Web InterfaceYYNYY?? File SharingYNNYN?? Web PublishingYNNNN?? Message BoardsYNNNN?? We conducted an initial survey..

17 Vendor: 12345**7*7 Infrastructure Requirements PAWS Integration (with API)YNNYYYY Current Hardware/Personnel Resources SufficientYNYYYYY HostedYNYYYYY ScaleableYYYYYYY Security, Backup and Recovery MechanismsYYYYY?? Payment GatewayYNNNN?? Primary Competency Requirements Primary Business is YYYNYN*Y Owns Software; Not a ResellerYYYYYYY We conducted an initial survey..

18 We piloted an application... Great look. Great features. Everything I have been asking for! Great look. Great features. Everything I have been asking for! An address book. Finally! An address book. Finally! Anything is better than the old way! Anything is better than the old way!.

19 We took the initial steps... Spring /Summer 2003 Spring /Summer Received request for improved web mail &calendaring services - Defined requirements and identified potential services - Worked with SG to pilot web mail and calendaring services Fall 2003 Fall Presented pilot results to STF committee and requested funding - Received approval from the committee to proceed - Issued an Invitation to Bid to carrier class providers Spring 2004 Spring Presented results to Procurement Support Team - Issued an Intent to Award - Requested final approval and authority to issue PO - Prepared for implementation and migration

20 Providing Student Getting You Down? Outsource It! 1. Introduction  From the perspective of experience 2. In the beginning (1997)  The PAWS Connection 3. Six years later (2003)  The weight of the world or, at least, an system 4. Change in the air (2003/2004)  Let’s outsource it!

21 Student Solution Outblaze, Ltd. Outblaze, Ltd. – Carrier class provider hosting > 30M accounts – Satisfied all bid specifications – Less than $3.00/box/year

22 Student Features Multiple attachments Multiple attachments Multiple signatures Multiple signatures Spell check Spell check Rich text editing Rich text editing Out-of-Office replies Out-of-Office replies Mail Filtering Mail Filtering Mail Flagging Mail Flagging Anti-spam features Anti-spam features Address book Address book IMAP support IMAP support POP3 support POP3 support Individual calendars Individual calendars Group calendars Group calendars Portal integration features Portal integration features Scaleable Scaleable Backup / Recovery Backup / Recovery Web-based administration Web-based administration Payment gateway Payment gateway File sharing File sharing Web publishing Web publishing Message board Message board Task Lists Task Lists

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27 Planned Service Offerings Basic Offering (Underwritten by STF) Basic Offering (Underwritten by STF) – 50 MB storage, Calendaring, Forwarding, Spell Check, – Anti-Virus, Anti-Spam Implementation Date: Late Summer / Early Fall 2004 Storage Upgrade (For Fee) Storage Upgrade (For Fee) – 10 MB storage Protocol Upgrade (For Fee) Protocol Upgrade (For Fee) – POP/IMAP/SMTP Premium Upgrade (For Fee) Premium Upgrade (For Fee) – File Cabinet, Message Board, Photo Album, Homepage Builder Premium Offering (For Fee) Premium Offering (For Fee) – 50 MB storage, Calendaring, Forwarding, Spell Check, – Anti-Virus, Anti-Spam, – File Cabinet, Message Board, Photo Album, Homepage Builder

28 Providing Student Getting You Down? Outsource It! 1. Introduction  From the perspective of experience 2. In the beginning (1997)  The PAWS Connection 3. Six years later (2003)  The weight of the world or, at least, an system 4. Change in the air (2003/2004)  Let’s outsource it! 5. Success (2005/present)  But, will they like it?  A new CIO (and, he knows !)  New initiatives (1G mail boxes/Tigerware/Webhosting)

29 Voluntary Migrations Voluntary Migration to Basic Service became available in late June, Voluntary Migration to Basic Service became available in late June, More than 8,300 students migrated to the new solution by August 31, More than 8,300 students migrated to the new solution by August 31, At present, Outblaze hosts more than 25,000 accounts. At present, Outblaze hosts more than 25,000 accounts.

30 CxC Webhosting The CxC Digital Portfolio initiated was piloted using the webhosting components of the Outblaze solution

31 New CIO / New Approach Greenlight on outsourcing paradigm Greenlight on outsourcing paradigm Redlight on “For Fee” services Redlight on “For Fee” servicesInstead Ask Student Technology Fee committee to have the STF underwrite 1 G mail boxes, IMAP/POP3 connectivity, and web hosting services. Ask Student Technology Fee committee to have the STF underwrite 1 G mail boxes, IMAP/POP3 connectivity, and web hosting services.

32 1 Gigabyte + IMAP/POP3 New Features New Features – Quota 50M -> 1G – IMAP/POP3 Connectivity Cost Cost – Cost for Basic Services: ~$80K/year – Cost for Expanded Services: ~110K/year – Total Cost for Services: ~$190K/year – Cost Per Student = $6.33/year STF Connection STF Connection – Approximately 95% of the cost of these services are underwritten by the Student Technology Fee

33 Web Hosting New Features New Features – Webhosting capabilities – 250 M quota for collaborative storage – Supports CxC dPortfolio initiative – FrontPage provided to all students – Dreamweaver provided in public access labs. Cost Cost – Approximately $50K / year STF Connection STF Connection – Approximately 95% of the cost of these services are underwritten by the Student Technology Fee. FrontPage is delivered to students via TigerWare (topic for another presentation).

34 Inheriting a Smart Decision A daring move to outsource A daring move to outsource Students advocate funding the service Students advocate funding the service – And advocating increasing the investment and service level! Choosing a provider that offered more Choosing a provider that offered more – Webhosting, File Space Choosing a provider that we can be ‘big fish’ to, rather than just another minnow in the ocean Choosing a provider that we can be ‘big fish’ to, rather than just another minnow in the ocean

35 CIO Points to Ponder Making a choice to adopt a different bifurcation of the paradigm Making a choice to adopt a different bifurcation of the paradigm – Individual vs Institutional; not faculty/staff vs student Consider well your Outsourcing Options Consider well your Outsourcing Options – Google, Windows Outblaze – Issues: IMAP, POP Is a ‘bank’ from which you can draw money for other IT investments? Is a ‘bank’ from which you can draw money for other IT investments? – Reallocate savings to other IT initiatives?

36 Providing Student Getting You Down? Outsource It! Brian D. Voss, CIO Cynthia M. Hadden, Deputy CIO & Exec. Dir., UIS Information Technology Services Louisiana State University


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